–We Must Create State Police To Enhance Food Security-Gov.Lalong
From Daniel Dauda, Jos
The Honourable minister of agriculture and rural development, Dr. Mohammed Abubakar has that the agricultural sector alone has contributed about 23.3% to the Nigerian gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022 half year.
Abubakar said the development show the positive trend of previous years’ performance of 25.88%(2022), 26.21%(2020), 25.16%(2019), 25.13%(2018), 25.08%(2017), 24.45%(2015) and 23.11%(2015) respectively, noting that the data also reflects the impact of the implementation of programmes and projects in the agricultural sector despite the security challenges in the country.
The minister make the disclosure Thursday in Jos, Plateau State capital while addressing the critical stakeholders on agriculture value chain during the 45 regular meeting of the national council on agriculture and rural development (NCARD).
The 45 regular meeting champion by the Federal ministry of agriculture and rural development (FMARD), had a theme:” strengthening agricultural value chain development process for food security and economic development”.
The minister also said, “recent reports from the National Bureau of Statistics indicates that the agricultural sector topped the chart in a survey of seven (7) sectors identified to have contributed to the Nigeria economy in the second quarter of 2022. It out-performed six (6) other sectors comprising Trade, Telecommunications, Manufacturing, Oil & Gas, Real Estate as well as Finance & Insurance.
“To improve on performance, we are strengthening the linkage between research, agriculture and industry by intensifying our commodity value chain development process. This is being guided by the new framework of the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy (NATIP), 2022-2027, launched in August 2022, which seeks to modernize the agricultural sector in line with changing global food systems and supply chains.”
Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong vowed to create state police to increase efficiency of agriculture as his administration for the past 7 years prioritized agriculture, stressing that about 90% of potato consumed by the country is produced in Plateau.
According to him, “We are also working with the Federal Government and security agencies to ensure that we deal with the issue of banditry, terrorism and general criminality which is threatening farming activities particularly in the North. I am happy to note that recent efforts of the security agencies have started yielding results as many kidnappers, bandits and terrorists have been dealt a heavy blow and no longer have the capacity to terrorize innocent farmers. We hope this will be sustained so as to totally remove fear and threats from our farmers.
The Governor has challenged participants of 45th Council Meeting to concentrate and fashion out a rich and robust outcome that will increase the efficiency of the agricultural sector in the country.
However, President Plateau State Council of Chiefs and Emirs His Royal Majesty, Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba bemoaned that most of the agricultural loans which was supposed to be given to farmers by the Federal Government is falling into the hands of non-farmers.
He said in order for Nigeria to galvanised and achieve sustainable food security and economic development state policing, regular training and capacity building of farmers should be a central priority of Government.
Our correspondent learned that 45 regular meeting of the national council on agriculture and rural development has since kick start on Monday 12th September and will be rounded up 16th September, 2022.